Nice kitty! :)
Thanks to Paul M Schofield for this interview
How long have you been writing?
I took a creative writing class in 1991, and wrote sporadically for two years. Everything was put in a drawer until the summer of 2009. I started again in earnest and finished Trophy in January 2010.
Do you have a day job or do you write for a living?
I wish I could write for a living but it hasn’t happened yet. I still have my day job as an architectural designer, but at least now it’s part time.
What do you feel is the ideal recipe for a good novel/story/poem?
Five percent flash of inspiration – 95 percent perspiration. It’s hard, repetitive work and you better be willing to stick to it.
What/who inspired you to write and still inspires you?
I love to create, whether it is with music or words. I write because I love to write. As Lord Byron said: “I write to empty my mind. Otherwise I will go mad.”
What books have you written? Do you stick to one genre?
My first novel is Trophy. I am nearly finished with the first sequel. The genre is future-fiction, action-adventure with a sci-fi edge, and I have tried to make it fun and refreshing to read. I would like to write humor some day, but it would probably turn out to be a cure for insomnia!
How long did it take you to get published? Did you take the traditional route or DIY?
I tried the traditional route, but after 60 rejection letters we formed our own publishing company, Galactic Publishers, and did it ourselves using Lightning Source as our POD printer. They are affiliated with Ingram Publishing.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers/those just starting out?
Write about what you love and know. Do your best, and then rewrite and edit your work. Do not get in a hurry to publish until it’s done and polished. Professional help and editing is a must!
Do you have any works in progress?
I am nearing completion of the first sequel in the Trophy Saga. I have two sequels and two prequels planned for a total of five books to complete the Saga.
Which character from your book do you like most/are most like?
My favourite character is Panther, the great black cat. He is a partial android, with cybernetic enhancements. His power, speed and loyalty are awesome.
Where and when do you write – do you have set times during which you write or is it just when the mood takes you?
I try to write every day, usually in the morning, even if it’s only a few paragraphs – write or edit. Forget mood; writing is hard work and you have to keep at it. As the fighting instructor Gurney Haleck in the novel Dune said: “Mood is for lovers, you may have to fight at any time, whether you are in the mood or not.” Writing is the same – just do it.
Marketing – the bane of self-publishers – how do you find the experience? Do you have any marketing advice for other writers? Do you use a blog or twitter, etc?
Marketing is difficult, relentless, and time consuming – but absolutely necessary. Get help if you can. My wife shoulders the majority of it so I can write. The whole publishing industry is in a great period of flux right now and difficult to know exactly what to do. Use as many resources such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs as you realistically can handle.
Some of your fave things …
Animal? Food? Drink? Film? Colour? Band? Song? Place to chill out?
Cats, of course.
Cooked-on-the-stove popcorn and Guinness.
The first Star Wars movie.
Turn! Turn! Turn!
I love to chill out in my observatory with my telescope watching the stars, fireflies and bats while listening to the screech owls, crickets and whippoorwills.
Which book do you wish you had written?
Lord of the Rings.
Who is your favourite character from any book and why?
Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice. I love her spunk, tenacity, decency and fluency with the English language.
Which three authors (living or not) would you like to take to the pub?
Tolkien, Austen and Hemingway.
What other hobbies/interests do you have or has writing taken over?
Spending time with my family, including my cats, volunteer work, amateur astronomy, walking in the woods around my home.
What would you like to achieve in the next five years?
Retire so I can write more, finish the Trophy Saga, stay healthy and enjoy life, stay alive…
If you won the Lotto, what would you do with it all?
Give it all away and keep living simply. The vast majority of people who suddenly gain a lot of wealth are miserable and chronically unhappy.
Now for the creative bit … please finish this story in 100 words or less … there once was a small gecko called Fred ...
There once was a small gecko called Fred. But Fred was depressed, and clinging to the ceiling wasn’t curing his doldrums.
“Why did my cousin Dinton have to leave? We were so happy – getting along great – catching flies – hanging out. Then this big man takes him. Peculiar bloke – talked funny. He said he liked Dinton’s accent.”
Fred drops to the remote, the flat-screen turns on.
“(Sigh) … there he is again, living it up. Even has his own motorcycle. You think he’ll ever remember me now that he’s working for that big insurance company?”
Finally, what question do you wish I’d asked and, of course, what is the answer?
Do you like to read your own work?
Yes, I get a real kick out of it. Sometimes I’ll ask myself how I ever came up with a particular passage or description. I really don’t know. That’s the beauty of being creative. It’s just plain fun.
Your book/website/blog/twitter links…